Digital life is part of our everyday. We get up and go to bed with our phones and the world wide web. So, art, being a way to express emotions cannot stay offline and it has not. Next to Crypto art, museums are moving into the virtual space. We have now digital art museums and showrooms. And more will emerge over time.
Though many museums are looking at how to integrate digital art in their collections, but few focus only on digital art. We would like to share a selection of some major museums focusing on digital art.
Japan – a front runner also in digital art
TeamLab Art collective unites artists, programmers, engineers, CG animators, mathematicians, and architects collaborate to navigate the confluence of art, science, technology, and the natural world launched the first truly digital museum:
Japan has always been interested in technologies, hosting some of the best companies in consumer electronics, with Sony, one of the first brands integrating software and hardware offerings. The Sony Walkman changed the way we consume music for ever.
In Tokyo’s Odaiba district on 10,000 square metres one can see the 50 teamLab’s large-scale works. They are organised into five sections: Borderless World; Athletics Forest; Future Park; Forest of Lamps; and the En Tea House. Artworks are interactive and move out of rooms, communicate with other works, influence, and sometimes intermingle with each other with no boundaries. The installations used 520 computers, 470 projectors, and up to 100 self-described ‘ultra-technologists’ to create the light and visual experience.
Since 2001, the Japanese artist collective has been pushing the boundaries of art with their immersive, digital works. This museum is the first in the world to be devoted to digital artworks.
Online sharing takes centre stage.
The artworks bridge the gap between art and the audience. It also initiates a shift in the relationship between the individual viewer and the crowd’, teamLab says. So, it becomes an art collaboration.
TeamLab have created Borderless with 21st century art-lovers in mind, designing each exhibit to be shared on Instagram. For teamLab, the focus on ‘shareability’ is driven by a deep belief in the uniting power of the web. The internet connection makes certain artworks possible at all. This changes the way and place we consume art. We may not even need to go to a museum anymore. We can use a VR or a streaming service to get similar experience like being on the spot. Technology will make younger generations more involved in arts. It speaks their language, challenging them to rethink their relation to the nature, the world and the society.
Other museums followed the digital road
Here a list of places you may want to visit, if you are a real digital art-lover:
Founded in 1997 by Japanese telecommunication company NTT as a tribute to the country’s 100th anniversary of telephony, the ICC acts today as a central reference for new media arts.
It is referred to as the “Electronic or Digital Art Bauhaus,”. The ZKM archives the development of all media relevant to our digital age — may it be through painting, photography, video, performances, installations, and other time-based creations.
ICA hosted the ground-breaking exhibition Cybernetic Serendipity in 1968 and since then takes care to have good representation of new media artworks.
The interlinkage of Art, Technology, and Society is in the essence of Ars Electronica’s mission. Since 1979, the centre has worked as a “Museum of the Future” allowing innovative ideas to be shared with the public. Subjects include the blend of media art with scientific domains like artificial intelligence, biotechnology, genetic engineering, neurology, robotics, and prosthetics.
Digital videos, interactive installation, internet artworks, virtual reality, web game, computer animation or mixed media — all can be found in this fundamental institution specialized in digital culture and media technologies. The Museum witnesses the creative and critical discourses that challenge the aesthetic, socio-political and economic framework through any new art forms indicative of the information age.
The Foundation for Art and Creative Technology supports international visual artists embracing the potential of new media and digital technology. Its mission is to empower all 21st-century citizens with essential knowledge of their contemporaneity.
The HMKV offer compelling content on the contemporary practices of new media arts. One specificity of the institution is that instead of focusing on the technology, it focuses on the concepts and multi-layered social, political, economic, and ecological conditions, making the medium a catalyst for discussion rather than an end in itself.
Whitney Museum is a leading supporter of digital art. With media art emerging primarily in the US in the 1960s as part of collaborations between artists and tech companies, or science labs, it focuses on American digital art.
With the mission to encourage cross-cultural dialogue, respect, and mutual understanding, the New Museum is a central venue for contemporary art in New York. The museum’s taste for audacity, as well as its lasting interest for video art, makes internet and new media art a significant part of their curation process.
The Walker Art Centre now continues its strategy of collecting new media, proposing audience-oriented, engaging installations, and presenting solo shows of emerging visual artists. In 2017 the venue notably dedicated a show to Tokyo-based art collective teamLab where they proposed a virtual and immersive ecosystem for viewers to interact with unrealistic wildlife and plants.
In the 1960s MoMA started its pioneering collection of time-based art, followed in 2006 with the opening of a department dedicated to new media implementing specific exhibition modes and answering to the new preservation needs technology requires.
Affiliated with the University of California Irvine (UCI), the Beall Center for Art and Technology commits to the fostering of new relationships between art, science, and engineering, with obvious consideration for digital technologies and contemporary media arts.
DiMoDA – the Digital VR Artwork exhibitor
DiMoDA is a pioneering virtual institution, dedicated to commissioning, preserving and exhibiting cutting edge VR artworks. Conceived in 2013 by Alfredo Salazar-Caro and William Robertson, DiMoDA has released three exhibitions, featuring 15 unique, artist-designed, VR experiences. In 2015 DiMoDA 1.0 launched with Transfer Gallery in New York, and has traveled the world since. Thousands of virtual exhibitions have been downloaded worldwide, and IRL Exhibitions have taken place in cities like New York, Miami, Chicago, Berlin, Dusseldorf, Dubai, and Bangkok among others.